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k2

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The "threats to Mother Nature" thread
« on: January 24, 2017, 07:14:29 PM »

I figure we need a running thread to track issues that impact the environment and fisheries.  There is renewed concern over Bristol Bay. 

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k2

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Re: The "threats to Mother Nature" thread
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2017, 07:15:32 PM »

WASHINGTON — The 115th Congress capped its first day late Tuesday with a vote to give away America’s public lands and waters, recalculating the costs of public lands transfers and easing current restrictions for shifting their oversight to individual states or private interests.

Passed largely along party lines by the U.S. House of Representatives as part of a rules package, the provision would designate any transfer legislation “budget neutral,” eliminating existing safeguards against undervaluing public lands, disregarding any revenue or economic benefits currently generated and paving the way for quick and discreet giveaways of valuable lands and waters – including national forests, wildlife refuges and BLM lands – historically owned by the American people.
source: http://www.backcountryhunters.org/house_public_lands_transfer_provision

While it's a little late to contact your House rep, you can contact your senators.  At the very least, please consider signing TU's petition (http://www.tu.org/action-center?vvsrc=%2fSurveys%2f3454%2fRespond).
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k2

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k2

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Re: The "threats to Mother Nature" thread
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2017, 07:16:50 PM »

not too hard to see this administration's priorities when it comes to industry vs. environment.  His cabinet is loaded with ex oil execs.  His nomination for EPA, Pruitt, has sued the EPA in efforts to roll back provisions for clean air in national parks and limits on mercury output from coal burning power plants.
/https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2016/12/trumps-epa-pick-is-skeptical-of-more-than-just-climate-change/509960/

To me, continuing to exploit cheap fossil fuels at the expense of clean air and clean water, instead in investing in cleaner technology, is a bit like hiring a child predator to watch your kids for the night because the teen ager next door charges to much.  Pretty short sighted.  Sorry, I'll try to keep my tree hugger politics off this site, but the next 4 years are going to be a challenge.
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k2

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Re: The "threats to Mother Nature" thread
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2017, 01:13:07 PM »

More on Pebble Mine  (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-01-23/northern-dynasty-says-it-has-trump-backing-seeking-new-partner)

Northern Dynasty Says It Has Trump Backing, Seeking New Partner
by Natalie Obiko Pearson
January 23, 2017, 3:01 PM EST
Explorer expects Alaska mine permitting to cost $150 million
Chief Executive Thiessen says new partner possible by October
Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd. expects to resolve a dispute with the U.S. environmental regulator by April to enable it to move ahead with permitting one of the world’s largest undeveloped copper and gold deposits.

U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration has “a desire to permit Pebble,” the company’s project in Alaska, Northern Dynasty Chief Executive Officer Ronald Thiessen said Monday in Vancouver. “We will come to a resolution within 100 days” with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, he said.

In 2014, the EPA moved to impose restrictions on Pebble, blocking it from applying for a permit, citing “potentially destructive impacts” to the world’s largest sockeye salmon fishery. Trump’s pick to head the regulator, Scott Pruitt, is a self-described opponent of the “EPA’s activist agenda” and has called for “regulatory rollback” at the agency.

Thiessen said Monday the company isn’t expecting special treatment under the Trump administration but a return to a “normalized permitting” process. That process should take about four years and cost $150 million, he said.

Thiessen said Monday his company expects to find a new partner by October. While Anglo American Plc had been a partner in the Pebble project, and Rio Tinto Group had held a stake in Northern Dynasty, both companies walked away during the past commodity rout.

Interested Suitors

Thiessen also said some suitors are interested in forming a consortium to develop the massive deposit, which has measured, indicated and inferred resources of 81.5 billion pounds of copper, 107 million ounces of gold and 514 million ounces of silver.

Northern Dynasty shares have more than tripled since the Nov. 8 U.S. election as investors speculate that Trump’s administration will allow the explorer’s long-stalled Pebble project in Alaska to move ahead. The shares rose 8.9 percent to C$3.79 at 2:34 p.m. in Toronto, giving the company a market value of C$1.01 billion ($760 million).


Frank GiustraPhotographer: Jamie McCarthy/WireImage via Getty Images
Pebble “is a really great bet,” Canadian mining magnate Frank Giustra said Sunday. He said he wishes he still owned shares in Northern Dynasty after selling off his holdings last year amid a political controversy.

“If there’s only one thing good about a Trump presidency, it’s that it’ll be a lot easier in the resource industry in the United States to get things done,” Giustra said. “That’s about the only good thing.”

Giustra sold off his interests in Northern Dynasty last year amid criticism that if Hillary Clinton won the U.S. election, he could use his close personal ties with her husband, Bill, to ease U.S. regulatory roadblocks facing the company.

Giustra sold his stake “because I just don’t want anyone even thinking that I’m in this because of my political connections,” he said. “I left a lot of money on the table. It was very sad. It sucks to be me.”
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ginclear

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Re: The "threats to Mother Nature" thread
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2017, 07:43:26 PM »

Here's one potential bit of good news about Pebble. This is from a 24 Dec. 16 article https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/2016/12/24/pebble-backers-hope-trump-administration-breaths-new-life-into-mine-project/

"And if the company can gather the dozens of necessary state and federal sign-offs, they still have to get the project past the Alaska Legislature. In 2014, 65 percent of Alaska voters approved a ballot measure that would give the Legislature a say on whether to ban mining, if lawmakers believe a project would endanger wild salmon stocks, adding another layer to the approval process. (Voters rejected a 2008 effort to simply ban large-scale mining in the region.)"

Also a follow on to this on 27 Dec 16 https://www.adn.com/business-economy/2016/12/27/state-extends-pebble-permit-after-flood-of-comments/

There are several other articles about the Pebble permitting process at the adn.com site and my guess is that the statement in the Bloomberg article,

"U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration has “a desire to permit Pebble,” the company’s project in Alaska, Northern Dynasty Chief Executive Officer Ronald Thiessen said Monday in Vancouver." ,

is a bit optimistic and forward looking to get stock prices up, which it did. The stock also lost that gain the next day.

I also read all the comments at the end of the Hatch article. There was a very strong debate with some valid points about the EPA overstepping its authority. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for protecting our federal lands against fracking, mining and environment destruction, but this is a very complex issue with lots of stakeholders and it's good to peal back many layers to figure out what is really going on (you will not get this from the evening news....).
« Last Edit: January 26, 2017, 07:44:57 PM by ginclear »
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k2

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Re: The "threats to Mother Nature" thread
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2017, 11:23:28 PM »

I wish the news would talk about Pebble Mine. 

I have lived in an area greatly impacted by mining.  When in college I volunteered for a number of stream cleanups.  We picked up trash and worked to reduce bank erosion, but at the end of the day we left the water as chemically polluted and acidic as we found it.  That was nearly 20 years ago, and I'd be shocked to find out that these beautiful mountain streams weren't still devoid of fish and aquatic bug life.  These experiences, the amount of time I've spent and continue to spend outside, and a background in hard science make me a big fan of the EPA.  And no, I don't think EPA has overstepped here.  Unfortunately, the EPA is now partisan, and this is what drives the controversy (e.g., the House Oversight Committee investigation). 

For people who don't know much about the issue, Northern Dynasty (a Canadian company with foreign investors) acquired mineral rights in the headwaters of the world's largest and most healthy salmon populations.  Those fish are a natural resource that belong to all of us.  It's important to keep in mind that the State of Alaska still owns the land.  The open pit part of the mine will span 2 miles wide and over a thousand feet deep.   There will also be an underground mine.  Northern Dynasty has requested permits for 35 billion gallons of water sourced from two rivers (that's a multiple of the total water used by the city of Anchorage each year).  The proposal includes two artificial waste water lakes made using embankment dams (remember the Animas disaster?).  Moreover, the mine will be located in an earthquake zone.  It also shouldn't be a surprise that mining activity will have a dramatic impact on several Native communities that rely on subsistence (this has led to multiple lawsuits).  Consistent with the Clean Water Act, the EPA placed the following criteria for approval: the mine "can't destroy more than five miles of salmon streams or 19 miles of tributaries without salmon, it can't fill in 1,100 or more acres of wetlands," and it "shouldn't reroute streams to more than 20 percent of the daily flow." Not surprisingly, Northern Dynasty sued.

Just so it's clear to anyone who reads this, Northern Dynasty's stock price has tripled since the election.  I think we can all figure out what's driving that increase.
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ginclear

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Re: The "threats to Mother Nature" thread
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2017, 11:15:41 AM »

k2, don't get me wrong about my comment of the EPA overstepping its bounds. This was not with regard to Pebble. I was referring to the comments from the Hatch article where an ag guy had some valid points about other areas that the EPA has been a bit over the top.


I'm all against Pebble and what they are doing. It should be stopped. I spent about an hour last night looking the Northern Dynasty including their SEPTEMBER 30, 2016 financial statement. Yesterday, they just closed a $37.444M bought deal offering at $1.85 a share. This will fill their coffers for another round of permitting and fighting with the EPA. It's difficult to figure out who individual investors are (for me at least), but they are definitely in this for the long haul and think the permitting process will be easier under the "new EPA". The Legislators of Alaska can stop this without the EPA, but I suspect a lot of palms are now being greased and it will be an uphill battle.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2017, 11:17:49 AM by ginclear »
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ginclear

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Re: The "threats to Mother Nature" thread
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2017, 11:26:52 AM »

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Chris M

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Re: The "threats to Mother Nature" thread
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2017, 11:57:37 AM »

Certainly no sportsman, regardless of political class, should support Pebble Mine based upon what we know. 

Honest question here: has there ever been a mine that has not wreaked havoc with the environment.  Because there have been pipelines that have not
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trico22

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Re: The "threats to Mother Nature" thread
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2017, 12:18:57 PM »

Depends on the resources you care about.  Does an open pit mine in the middle of the desert (Eagle Mountain outside Palm Springs, for example) have the same environmental effect as Pebble?  I would argue that it does not.  As for the pipelines.  I'll agree that not every pipeline leaks, but what is of more interest to me is where the contents of the pipelines come from.  Do a little searching for images of what Canadian boreal forests look like after oil extraction from tar sands.  As for DAPL, I think there are social justice issues that outweigh the environmental effects of the pipeline itself.

For reference:
Development of tar sands in Alberta https://www.google.com/maps/@57.1855113,-111.9138352,84117m/data=!3m1!1e3?hl=en
Eagle Mountain Copper Mines in CA https://www.google.com/maps/@33.8872044,-115.5399332,8169m/data=!3m1!1e3?hl=en
« Last Edit: January 27, 2017, 12:51:41 PM by trico22 »
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k2

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Re: The "threats to Mother Nature" thread
« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2017, 01:18:58 PM »

k2, don't get me wrong about my comment of the EPA overstepping its bounds. This was not with regard to Pebble. I was referring to the comments from the Hatch article where an ag guy had some valid points about other areas that the EPA has been a bit over the top.

I figured as much, and I hoped to make more general points regarding my support for the EPA before applying them to Pebble Mine. 

I just read through the Hatch comments for the first time.  I think FishCampHunt pretty much summed up my opinions on the Republican controlled Committee on Oversight and Government Reform weighing in on the EPA.  I especially echo his comment on Chaffetz:

"I just spit my coffee out while laughing. A report led by Jason Chaffetz. That bought-and-sold piece of shit from the Utah delegation has exactly zero credibility left. Move on, folks."
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k2

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Re: The "threats to Mother Nature" thread
« Reply #12 on: January 27, 2017, 01:35:47 PM »

Depends on the resources you care about.  Does an open pit mine in the middle of the desert (Eagle Mountain outside Palm Springs, for example) have the same environmental effect as Pebble?  I would argue that it does not.  As for the pipelines.  I'll agree that not every pipeline leaks, but what is of more interest to me is where the contents of the pipelines come from.  Do a little searching for images of what Canadian boreal forests look like after oil extraction from tar sands.  As for DAPL, I think there are social justice issues that outweigh the environmental effects of the pipeline itself.

For reference:
Development of tar sands in Alberta https://www.google.com/maps/@57.1855113,-111.9138352,84117m/data=!3m1!1e3?hl=en

I completely agree. 

Capturing oil from tar sands is nasty business.  Here is a picture I took of the Suncor Firebag site.   It's the eastern-most speck on the Google Maps image to which you linked.

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Shakeyfly

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Re: The "threats to Mother Nature" thread
« Reply #13 on: January 27, 2017, 01:40:57 PM »

 :shitstorm :rain
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Re: The "threats to Mother Nature" thread
« Reply #14 on: January 27, 2017, 11:59:08 PM »

While I believe in reasonable regulation and conservation, I am no fan of the EPA. I believe, as stated many times, the EPA is an activist organization that over steps it's boundaries.

The head should be cut off of that agency and it should be restructured, their mission clearly defined, and their actions monitored and scrutinized. (same for many other agencies)

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